Afghanistan From the Classified Documents’ Perspective
One week after The Washington Post revealed the sprawling US intelligence complex, WikiLeaks has revealed another side of the war on terror – 92,000 classified government documents recounting six years of armed conflict in Afghanistan. According to The New York Times – one of three publications to which the web site gave the information – the documents include information about unreported civilian killings, problems with drones, the Taliban’s use of heat-seeking missiles and hints that members of Politico quotes White House National Security Adviser James Jones, saying the release will not affect US relations with Afghanistan or Pakistan.
Cambodia Convicts Khmer Rouge Official for War Crimes
Cambodia’s war crimes court landed its first conviction, finding Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, guilty of crimes against humanity, the BBC reports. Eav was sentenced to 35 years, but the BBC reports that the 67-year-old will most likely be released before then. Eav ran Tuol Sleng prison- the Khmer Rouge’s Phnom Penh penitentiary for political prisoners from 1975 to 1979. Eav was found guilty for having a role in 14,000 deaths. Human Rights Watch has compiled an archive of Cambodia’s war crimes court and the Khmer Rouge’s abuses. A timeline of Cambodian history is here and one of the Khmer Rouge is here.
BP’s Hayward May Be Pink-Slipped; Plumes Linked to BP
BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward is losing his corner office to American Bob Dudley, according to Politico and The New York Times. But The Dallas Morning News isn’t so sure. Despite quoting an anonymous senior US government official who also says Hayward’s being thrown out, the Texas publication says BP, whose board of directors meets Monday night, has not confirmed the change. The paper also notes that, should there be a management shake up, it may not be a hands-down win for Dudley, but rather a competition between Mississippi-born Dudley and Scotsman Iain Conn. Dudley has been managing the BP Gulf spill response operations since late June. In an interview with The Hill, Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen says changing executives will not affect efforts to rein in the spill’s effects.
Meanwhile, a denial has come back to haunt the energy giant – oil plumes. According to McClatchy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has linked the BP well to oil plumes 3,300 to 4,300 feet below the surface. McClatchy quotes oceanographer David Hollander as saying the discovery “completely changes the idea of what an oil spill is,” and has changed how researchers understand the impact of the April blowout. “It has gone from a two-dimensional disaster to a three-dimensional catastrophe,” he says.
Rising Profits May Hide Employment Reality
If The New York Times report is any indication, the idea of a jobless recovery is not going away any time soon. Despite tightening household budgets, companies are still turning profits, and it’s through downsizing, not sales. Their case study: Harley-Davidson, which slashed 2,000 jobs in 2009 and is planning on trimming an additional 1,400 to 1,600 by 2011. This business strategy is only part of a less-than-sparkling economic outlook: according to The Los Angeles Times, the possibility of deflation is putting some people on edge. As The Los Angeles Times points out, on the surface, deflation doesn’t seem like a bad thing – prices go down. However, the article explains that it’s not so simple: when prices go down, so do profits, and when profits go down, companies look for more ways to save, which could mean even more corporate belt tightening and fewer jobs. For reference: the BBC’s 2009 report on Japan’s deflation experience. Despite this seemingly grim outlook, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday that things are turning around.
Arizona’s Anti-Immigration Law Goes Into Effect Thursday
As of Thursday, Arizona police will be required to detain anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. According to Reuters, people are fleeing before the July 29 deadline. Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law April 23, 2010.
Congress’ to-Do List Before August Break
The House and Senate are set to break for August recess, but the list of things to accomplish is still full. Among the items on tap: Rep. Charlie Rangel’s (D-New York) ethics trial, a downsized energy bill and contemplation of additional funds for the armed forces.